The ingestion of large quantities of water together with various salts, such as sodium bicarbonate or the citrates, had become a standard procedure in the treatment of urinary infections long before the advent of internal urinary antiseptics. Opinion is probably unanimous today that in the acute urinary infections, most of which are self limited, this treatment shortens the course of the disease, and that in the chronic urinary infections it is distinctly palliative.
Since all the organisms commonly invading the urinary tract grow readily in urine of any hydrogen ion concentration which it is possible to attain by the administration of any drug, it would appear that alkalization of the urine is probably of little significance per se. The salts employed for this purpose, however, all possess diuretic action, and it seems probable that their value depends chiefly on this property. In other words, the treatment of urinary infection by
LEONARD V. DIURESIS VERSUS ANTISEPSIS IN THE TREATMENT OF URINARY INFECTIONS: WITH A NOTE ON DRUG ROTATION. JAMA. 1927;89(7):517–519. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690070027010
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